“When those children were exposed to those images, to me it was the potential detrimental effects on how they view Black men and Black people that was indescribable,” Webster-Cox said. “It’s literally profiling for the Black man. You’ve got young police officers and this is what they’re being trained on?”
Since Webster Cox went public with her concerns, the incident involving the Farming Hill Police Department has garnered the attention of governing bodies and other legal entities such as the public city council and the ACLU (who has filed a records request). With so much criticism being levied on his precinct, Farmington Police Chief Jeff King has attempted to bring tranquility to the PR nightmare by placing the blame squarely on himself.
“I’ll take this one on the chin,” King said. “I apologize to each and every person in this room, this community, my department, my city council, my city manager. I can’t overlook this.”
He also attempted to explain why the images of Black men that reached the public may not have been an accurate depiction of what actually goes on at the aforementioned police gun range.
“A diverse group of targets were on display the day of the tour—not just targets featuring Black people,” King said. “Unfortunately, this was not accurately depicted in the photographs, as the photographs only depict a small area of the department’s firing range and a select number of the targets that were presented and discussed during the group tour.”
The police chief also went on the explain that his department typically uses a grand total of 12 images at their gun range, claiming that 10 of the pictures are of White men and the remaining two images photos are of Black men. This would be in compliance with the state’s law enforcement standards and ethnicity ratio. Either way, it appears as though Police Chief Jeff King and the Farmington Police Department may have a litany of legal battles on the horizon due to the images they left on display during the boy scout’s field trip.
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